C7 Corvette Z06

Well, it’s about time I do a review on my own car, the 2016 C7 Corvette Z06. I absolutely love this car!! The power, the handling, the ease of the manual transmission and the practicality of this car cannot be matched.

My C7 Corvette Z06

This is my 5th Vette. My first was a 1993 C4 Anniversary edition, then a 1997 C5 and then a 2003 C5 Anniversary Edition. The 2003 was my experiment car………….as I made some modifications. The car had 350 HP when new and we got it up to 625 HP. We added headers, a new exhaust, a “procharger” supercharger, rebuilt the rearend and beefed up the automatic transmission (yes, I had an automatic at one time) and a few other things. After a couple of track days and when things started to break, I got a 2006 C6 Z06 with a manual transmission.

My C5 on Track Day

The C6 Z06 really changed things for the Corvette and for me. It had been a number of years since I had driven a manual transmission. The extra level of engagement while driving truly made you appreciate the car that much more. I soon found myself searching for great driving roads and additional track days. The only mod I did to this car was to put on new wheels and tires………. that’s it. With it’s 6 speed Manual, 7.0 liter pushing 505 HP, I was not lacking on performance and I just wanted to drive it every day.

My C6 on Track Day
(It’s All Good)

The C7 Stingray was introduced in 2014 to rave reviews. Design, handling, power and performance all set new standards for the Corvette. They also introduced “rev-match” with the new 7 speed manual transmission. Rev-match is the coolest option ever……..more on that later. As much as I liked the new C7 Stingray, I knew they would offer a Z06 model within a year or two. Sure enough, the Z06 was offered as a 2015 model. The car was amazing with a 6.2 liter Supercharged V8 pushing 650 HP and 650 ft lb torque and available with a 7 speed manual transmission with “rev-match”………how cool was that!! Then I saw a picture of the C7 Z06 in a “Shark Gray” color………. it was gorgeous!! I knew I wanted one!!

C7 Z06 in Shark Gray
(What a Gorgeous Car)

The Z06 is a somewhat limited production car and a little difficult to find. Also, when they first came out, most dealers had a $10,000 to $20,000 dealer mark up over retail. I could not find one locally and did not want to pay the premium price. I ended up on a waiting list to order one from a local dealer in Rio Vista, Ca. “Abel Chevrolet” in Rio Vista is the corvette mecca in Northern California. The service manager there, Rich Willhoff, is a two time national champion in the Optima Battery Ultimate Street Car series driving a C6 Z06. You should checkout the reviews on Yelp about Abel Chevrolet and the number of Corvette owners that drive for hours to have their Vettes serviced in Rio Vista. Abel Chevrolet agreed to sell me the car for sticker price once they had the allocation to order one.

My C7 leaving New Hampshire

After a couple of months waiting to place my order, I started looking online for other Corvette dealers. I came across MacMulkin Chevrolet on the other side of the country from California in Nashua New Hampshire. They claim to be the 2nd largest Corvette dealer in the United States and consistently had over 300 corvettes for sale.

I had been looking for months when I came across MacMulkin Chevrolet. I wanted the Shark Gray color with silver wheels, black leather interior and a manual transmission……………. do you know how hard that was to find. Most Vettes had black wheels and approx 75% of them had automatic transmissions. I found the exact car I wanted to order on their lot. It had the silver wheels, a manual transmission and black nappa leather interior. It was perfect!!

My C7 Z06 arriving in California

MacMulkin Chevrolet was awesome to deal with. They have a corvette team that has been there for years and they are experienced in selling all over the US. They agreed to sale the car for $3,000 under sticker which was unheard-of in California at the time. Then they made all the arrangements to have the car shipped to me by Intercity Lines. The transportation cost was $2,000, so I still got the car for a little under sticker price.

It was super cool having the car delivered to my front door by Intercity Lines!! Over all, it was just a great experience!!

A Little History

It all started back in 1963, when the Z06 was introduced as an option package, not a model. The Z06 package was for those who wanted to use the Corvette on the track. Zora Arkus-Duntov is the legendary Corvette engineer that got the Z06 its start. Since he was also a race enthusiast, he wanted to give the Corvette a package that would allow it to perform competitively on the track. There were only 199 Z06 packages ordered in 1963. The only engine option for the Z06 was a 327 cubic in V8 producing 360 HP.

1963 Corvette Z06

We didn’t see the Z06 again until it was introduced in 2001 as an actual model, not just an option package. The fifth generation corvette (C5) was introduced in 1997 with the Z06 being offered from 2001 to 2004.

The engineers wanted to make sure the new Z06 would be the best performing one yet. One of the best ways to do this was to make the car lighter. A limited hardtop body was introduced, which had a fixed-roof design that was stiffer and lighter than the one on the coupe. It also saw the introduction of thinner glass, lighter wheels, a titanium exhaust system, and even a lighter battery.

C5 Corvette Z06

The 2001 Z06’s Gen III small block engine was able to produce 385 HP. Thanks to unique internal parts, like an improved camshaft and higher-compression pistons. In 2002, the Z06’s engine was able to put out 405 horsepower, which was a large amount at the time.

The 6th generation corvette (C6) was introduced in 2005, with the Z06 showing up in 2006. The Z06 was now able to compete with the world’s most capable supercars, with a 6:2:1 power-to-weight ratio. This power-to-weight ratio was one of the best ones in the world, and allowed it to attain 0-60 in 3.7 seconds. The C6 Z06 also saw the introduction of an aluminum frame that reduced weight by another 136 lbs.

My Old C6 Corvette Z06

The 7.0-liter LS7 small block engine was introduced to this generation of Corvette, which made it (again) the fastest Corvette ever produced during this time. This was thanks to the new lightweight frame that was produced, which worked in tandem with the small-block engine that put out 505 horsepower.

Now, we have the 7th generation (C7) Corvette Z06. The supercharged engine on it was the first offered for a Z06 and it’s the strongest engine yet. The supercharged engine on the Z06 puts out 650 horsepower with the same amount of pound-feet torque. The C7 generation was the first Z06 to be offered with an automatic transmission along with a manual, all previous Z06’s had a manual transmission only.

Some Specs

The Z06 comes with a 6.2 L (376 cu in) supercharged and inter-cooled LT4 V8 engine with Rotocast A356T6 aluminum cylinder heads and a 1.7-liter Eaton R1740 TVS supercharger, which generates 650 hp at 6,400 rpm and 650 lb⋅ft at 3,600 rpm of torque, giving the Z06 a top speed of 185 mph. The Z06 is available with a Tremec seven-speed manual with rev-matching technology (rev match is awesome!!) or a hydramatic 8l90 eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.

The C7 Z06

Changes to the body of the Z06 include a removable carbon fiber roof panel, a front splitter, a unique carbon fiber hood with a larger vent, larger front fender vents and unique air blades over the inlets on the rear fenders, a larger unique rear spoiler, and rear-fascia openings that are larger than that of the Stingray. The redesigned mesh pattern on the front fascia allows for maximum airflow to the supercharger’s inter-cooler heat exchanger, while dedicated brake-cooling intakes and wider grille outlets on the bottom serves as air diffusers. It rides on 19×10-inch front and 20×12-inch rear spin-cast aluminum wheels on Michelin Pilot Sport P285/30ZR19 front and 335/25ZR20 rear tires.

You can also choose the Z07 performance package (I don’t have this on mine as it is really designed for track time)) which includes Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 P285/30ZR19 front and 335/25ZR20 rear tires, carbon ceramic brakes, larger winglets on the front splitter, more pronounced side skirts, and an adjustable transparent center section on the rear spoiler.

C7 Corvette Z06 with Z07 Package

The optional carbon-fiber aero package (in either black or a visible carbon-fiber finish) adds a carbon fiber front splitter with aviation-style winglets, carbon fiber rocker panels, and a larger rear spoiler with a fixed wickerbill – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler that significantly increases downforce.

Comfort and Practicality

I have read so many reviews about the C7 Z06 not being a practical car………. but they are wrong. The Z06 has 5 driving modes, from “economy”, I’ve never used it, “weather” which I have used and is great in the rain, “tour” which really makes the car run relatively soft over rough surfaces, “sport” which stiffens the suspension, tightens up the steering and increases throttle response and “track” which is best for the track as the stiffer suspension can be rough on anything other than a smooth track surface. We primarily use “tour” and “sport”.

Luggage and Shoe Bag

The combination of power, sound, ease of driving, the ability to remove the top and still have plenty of room for luggage for an overnight get away or a week-long adventure!! We can literally get our luggage fitted in the back and still have room to take the top off and stow it in the back (the new C8 can’t make than claim as the top takes up the whole trunk in the back).

Removable Top Covering Luggage

Conclusion

I am in search of a car that is a better road trip car than the C7 Corvette Z06…………. I haven’t found it yet. This car is so much fun to drive. If we are on the freeway we typically put it in “tour” mode and when we find our nice two lane twisties we switch to “sport” and get going.

There’s nothing quite like driving this car on a nice windy two lane mountain road. The sound of the big V-8, the feeling of the crisp air, the blue sky above and the beautiful green forest on the mountains in the distance. The feeling you get as you prepare for the corner ahead, hitting the brakes, down shifting while hearing the incredible sound the engine makes as the “rev-match” blips the RPM’s up while the exhaust roars in the background. As you begin the turn you are stunned by the amount of grip, as the front tires seem to pull you through the corner ………….. The way the Z06 turns in is like no other car I have ever driven and it doesn’t know the word “understeer” as your confidence builds as the car continues to bite hard through the corner. All this with the top and luggage in the back.

Z06
My Z06

I have had the opportunity to drive quite a few cars of late in search of a car I might like better than the C7 Corvette Z06………..nothing yet. I have driven a Ferrari 430, a Lamborghini Gallardo, a Porsche 911 Turbo, a 2020 Audi R8, a 2019 Cayman GTS with a manual transmission and a 2019 Porsche 911 Carrera S with a manual transmission. I am never disappointed to get back in the Vette. Though I would like to have all the cars I mentioned, I would not give up the Vette for any of them!!

Our Audi R8 for the Day

The C7 Corvette Z06 is that good and that much fun!!! I Love This Car!!

Enjoy the Road!!

Wes

Exotic Cars and Road Trips

South Lake Tahoe

This has been a tough year to plan a road trip. With the Covid pandemic and living in California, it has been especially difficult to plan a road trip…………………..where would we go, what is open………… is there a good place to stay, where would we eat, will there be restrooms open to use along the drive………

Our Route

Well, lucky for me my beautiful wife Miss Linda was going stir-crazy and decided to make her own plan. She started to put a trip together that would take us to South Lake Tahoe……………… I immediately thought Hwy 88…………. you know I always have to plan a trip around the road. We did it a little backward this time with Miss Linda picking the location then me picking the route. Either way, we had a road trip planned and I was getting excited to be headed to South Lake Tahoe!!

The Plan

This was going to be just a quick overnight stay. If you take the freeway you can get to South Lake in about two hours, if you take Hwy 88, a nice windy, two lane mountain road, it will add about 30 minutes to the drive. If you do not have much traffic on Hwy 88 you can make it in less than two hours………… but typically there is usually a bit of traffic.

The Road to Tahoe

Miss Linda booked us a room at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and made reservations for lunch that day at the Riva Grill. That was it as far as plans…………. the rest would have to work itself out.

The Car

Of course we are in the Z06 again. This is the perfect road trip car. It is comfortable and easy to drive………. even with the manual transmission. With its hatchback design and 15 cubic feet of cargo space we never run out room for our luggage……. for an overnight stay or a week-long trip. The best part is even with our luggage we still had room in the back to remove and stow the roof so we could enjoy the beautiful weather.

Luggage and Shoe Bag
Removable Top Covering Luggage

It was going to be a 100 degrees in the valley where we live and only a high of 82 degrees in South Lake Tahoe, looks like we timed it perfectly. We left our house at about 9:30 AM and it was already about 70 degrees. As we headed out, it was perfect weather to have the top off. We have learned that when it gets above 85 degrees and if you are stuck in traffic, it gets really hot…………. as long as you’re moving it’s OK. When it gets above 90 degrees headed toward 100 degrees, it just gets too hot and we are better off putting the top back on and turning on the air conditioner.

As I said, the weather was perfect on this day. When we left, it was about 70 degrees. About an hour into the drive, the weather was at 80 degrees and in the valley it was on its way to a 100 degrees already. We had perfect timing as we were getting closer to Tahoe with its cooler air and leaving the valley as it was getting hot. We were able to maintain a constant temperature of about 80 degrees for the entire drive………….perfect!!

The Z06

The Road

Highway 88 (State Route 88), also known as the Carson Pass Highway, is a state hwy that goes from east to west from Stockton in the San Joaoquin Valley, crossing the Sierra Nevada at Carson Pass, and ending at the Nevada state line, where it becomes Nevada State Route 88, eventually terminating at U.S. Route 395.

Hwy 88 is a nice well maintained two lane road through the Sierra Nevada mountains with some nice elevation changes, and mostly big sweeper turns. I think the slowest posted corner speed was 30 MPH and there was only one. Every other corner was posted at 35 MPH or higher…………… so no real tight slow corners……….. a very comfortable drive with just enough corners to make it fun.

Hwy 88

The other thing that is really nice about this road is the number of passing lanes. The worst part of any road trip is getting stuck behind a pokey slow car of some type, with no where to pass………… and most of these pokey slow drivers don’t understand what a “turnout” is. Luckily for us, Hwy 88 seemed to have a passing lane about every 5 to 10 miles (I didn’t actually check the mileage…… that’s just what it felt like). Luckily, on this day there was not a ton of traffic, and the passing lanes seemed to come at the perfect times. We would have 3 to 4 miles of great driving with no traffic and then come up on some slower traffic for a mile or two and then here comes a passing lane and another 3 to 4 miles of driving fun. It went like this for most of the drive.

The Road To Tahoe

Then came the Mini’s…………… about 6 Mini Coopers pulled in behind us as they got onto Hwy 88 from a side road. It seems we see a lot of Mini’s on our road trips. We usually see a group of friends or car clubs on our road trips. We’ve seen a group of Mustangs, a Porsche club and even a group of friends in different cars like Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s and McLaren’s all enjoying the roads…………… but by far we have seen more groups of Mini’s than any other group of cars.

I have always heard how much fun a Mini is to drive. Have you ever really looked at a Mini, more than any other car out there, the wheels are literally at the corners of the cars…….. no extended bumpers or overhangs………… just wheels at the corners. They look like the closest you will ever get to a go-cart on the road. I was visiting with a guy while vacuuming my car at the car wash who had a Mini, he said it was one of the funnest cars he had ever owned. He told me how he had owned and driven Porsche’s for 30 years, and how much more fun the Mini was to drive!!

Mini Cooper S

Well, those 6 Mini’s tucked in behind us and were pushing…………that’s the thing about nice winding mountain roads…… you may have a lot of horsepower or a little which can a big difference in a straight line, but those corners seem to even the playing field. So with the Mini’s pushing we had to pick up the pace a bit……. didn’t want those Mini’s to think they could be quicker than the big Vette…………..so we picked up the pace and had some fun driving. Those little Mini’s always stayed close as we went through the twistys until we hit traffic and then we had to slow and wait for the passing lane……….. The Mini’s were always close behind. Then came that passing lane that was actually a big corner with a posted speed of 45 MPH…………. we lost a few Mini’s on this corner as they could not match the speed or the handling of the big Vette!! We were doing around 90 MPH in this corner as I watched the Mini’s start to lose ground, ………………….. in all, we had the Mini’s behind us for about 20 miles before we had to turn off. They gave us hoots and hollers and big thumbs up for the fun drive………… wait, there were only 3 Minis as we turned off………….. oops, it looks like we lost a few Mini’s……….

The Destination

We were headed for South Lake Tahoe, a place we have been many times before. Not sure if I would call it a destination this time or more the place we ended up as we had a need to get out of the house. Miss Linda booked us a room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. She had also made lunch reservations at the Riva Grill at 1:00 PM. This worked out well as we got to the Hotel around Noon and they were not ready for us to check in yet, so we headed over to the Riva Grill.

Wet Woody’s at Riva Grill

We arrived a little before our reservation, but we were able to get a “Wet Woody” to sip on while we waited for our table. Good thing we had a reservation as the wait for seating was an hour.

The Riva Grill is famous for their “Wet Woodys” which is a Slushy Rum drink. It goes down super easy and packs a punch. They have about 20 different variations of the drink. If you have two, don’t plan on doing much else. Once we got seated we had their lobster bisque, which by far is the best lobster bisque we have ever had anywhere!!

Riva Runabout

The Riva Grill is actually named after the Riva Runabout. Most people are familiar with wooden boat builders, like Gar Wood, Chris-Craft and Hackercraft. The Riva Runabout might be considered the top of the line for wooden boats. The company was formed back in 1860 by founder Pietro Riva on the Oglio River in Northern Italy. Riva opened its first United States showroom in 1964. You can still buy a new Riva Runabout today. The company makes about 20 per year at a cost of around $200,000. The Riva Runabout has a very exclusive clientele.

Riva Grill

Our stay at the Hard Rock was not so great. Covid does affect almost every aspect of our lives these days and is very frustrating. I am not a Covid believer and think it is way overblown……….. I will leave it at that for now.

Little things kept messing with our good time, like being yelled out by security that my mask was not covering my nose………really…… at least I had it on….. You can’t get room service and they won’t clean your room if you stay more than one night.

Hard Rock

We did make it down to the pool only to find out they don’t offer towels during Covid……can someone please explain to me some of these rules….. So I head back up to my room to get our shower towels to take back down to the pool. I decided I should call housekeeping and ask for some additional shower towels. I asked them to go ahead and let themselves into the room as we would be at the pool…………. nope, we can’t come in your room because of Covid……….. We had to wait until we were back at the room and then they brought us towels…….. though I had to walk into the hallway to get them…………..

One of things that Miss Linda and I enjoy most on our road trips are finding these little local restaurants that are far away from the tourist areas. Some places we find are not even known the locals.

Ivanos

This was the case when we found Ivanos. A small little place in a strip mall off the main drag. Our Uber driver had never heard of it and had trouble finding it. The Uber driver that picked up after dinner was late too, as they had trouble finding the place.

Ivanos offered inside seating which is something we don’t have in California at the moment. It was just two people, the Chef in the back and we believe his daughter in the front. This was true authentic artesian style Italian cooking. Everything was fresh from scratch with large portions……….. it was a great experience.

Conclusion

Any road trip is a good thing. The joy of the road, enjoying perfect weather and gorgeous scenery with the top off is so relaxing. Any cares or worries just go way…………..although trips these days do add a small level of stress with not knowing what the COVID rules will be at our chosen destination……….. have you noticed the rules are all different………why is that….

Garwoods

All in, this was a great trip and a very needed get way!! We will be heading out again in a couple of weeks to North Shore Tahoe.  Travelling to North Shore by way of Hwy 88 will add about an hour to our drive but well worth it. North Shore is a little less touristy and quiet than North Shore is yet still beautiful!! There is also Garwoods Restaurant which is the sister to the Riva Grill……….. yes, they have Wet Woodys and lobster bisque……. see you there!!

Please leave commits below,

Wes

Exotic Cars and Road Trips

How to Drive a Manual Transmission

It dawned on me the other day that my son had never driven a car with a manual transmission. My son, Eddie, who is 23 years old and is due to graduate from nursing school later this year in December. He has lived with his Mom since he was 8 years old. I’ve always had a good relationship with my son, though our time together was limited. We had the Tuesday and Thursday evenings and every other weekend that we were together but it’s not the same as living together. Eddie was not really into cars as a kid either………more about video games. Of course about half-way through his senior year he asked to have his time to himself……………….. I understood……… what teenage boy during his senior year of high school wants to spend a bunch of time with Dad. Needless to say I did not spend a lot of time with Eddie during his early driving years……………… It was time to change that. It was time for Eddie to learn how to drive a manual transmission.

The Route

So my quest to help my son learn how to drive a manual transmission started about a year ago when I brought it up. The good news was that he wanted to learn. Now it was time to figure out when we could do it. For my son, his schedule was a little crazy. He was going to school and working at the hospital and his schedule changed every week. We also needed to decide what car we would use? Of course, I have my C7 Corvette Z06 with a manual transmission, but I didn’t think a 650 HP car was a great choice to learn in. We need a plan and a car…………

The Plan

We decided that we would just rent a car. I thought that would be easy and convenient…….. I was wrong. We quickly found out that none of the major car rental places like Enterprise and Hertz offer cars with a manual transmission……….. automatics only……….eeek, now what.

Turo to the rescue. If you are not aware, Turo is like AirBNB, where people rent out their own personal cars via an app on your smart phone. The app is super easy to use. You just punch in a location and a date and a list of cars in that surrounding area show up on the app………….. you just swipe and look. We pulled up about 80 cars within about an hour of our home. When I used the filter option to choose only manual transmissions, it left about 11 cars to choose from.

2018 Mazda Miata RF

I found a 2018 Mazda Miata RF with a six speed manual about 45 minutes from our home…………this would be perfect. The cost was $63.00 for the day. We only needed it for one day. I plugged in our date and the time we would pick it up and drop it off. I had to create and account on the Turo app and provide a copy of my drivers license and upload a picture. Of course, I had to add my credit card information for payment and then my account was set up. We then selected the Mazda and our request for rental was accepted. That is when we also found out that Turo charges and additional fee for the maintenance and upkeep for the Turo app of about $30.00. All in, the cost was about $90.00.
Once the account was set up and the confirmation of the rental we were able to communicate with the owner of the car via text message through the Turo app. I also received email notifications when the owner sent me a text in the app.

Since this was a day for my son to learn how to drive a manual and I had just rented everything in my name…………. should I tell the owner that I am going to be teaching my son how to drive a manual………….maybe not…….. however I did not want to be dishonest…….what should I do? I went back to the app and found an option to add another driver. I was able to forward a link to my sons email address that allowed him to sign up as an additional driver. Eddie had to complete an application similar to what I did and provide his driver license. It always said pending on my side, however my son confirmed that he received an approval. No additional cost or issues by adding my son as an additional driver.

The RF Targa Top

We arrived at the owners home Saturday morning at 10:00 AM. The owner met us and showed us the car. It had been cleaned inside and out and was ready to go. The owner also helped with the check-in process which is on the app. It has you take pictures of the front, back, both sides and picture of the dash to record mileage and amount of gas in the car. The owner takes the same pictures on his app and then all pictures are uploaded to the app. You can also make notes of any damage that the car might already have………….super simple and easy. That is it and then we were off. Much easier and faster than any traditional rental car company I have ever used.

The Car

I remember when the Mazda Miata first came out in mid 1989 as a 1990 model. There was nothing like it at the time. It was a small two seat convertible sports car. Similar cars like the MG B and Triumph Spitfire had long since disappeared. I was about 29 years old back then and the Mazda Miata was the 1st car I ever remember that dealers had an average mark up of over $5,000 over sticker price………….. I had never seen anything like that before. It is a lot more common today to see dealer mark-ups for cars that are in great demand or limited production.

6 Speed Manual

Though I had never driven one, I have always heard what a great car they were and how much fun they are to drive. If you ever go to a track or an autocross day you will always see a Mazda Miata’s zipping around. It’s all true, super easy to drive with a soft clutch and a shifter that locks in to each gear. This was the perfect car to teach my son how to drive a manual.

Fun Car

The first thing we did when we picked up the car was to find an empty parking lot. It turns out that the parking lot we found was were my son Eddie went to school last summer. His school had a “south campus” for the nursing program which was really just a big parking lot with a lot of portable buildings……..but it was perfect for what we needed to do. We spend about and hour in the parking lot starting out and shifting gears. We then went out on the street which was a quiet residential area. Once out on the street, my son was having trouble starting from a start……… once we got going he was fine with shifting…… he was just struggling a little with take-offs. We went back to the parking lot and did nothing but start and stop. We did not take the car out of 1st gear………… It worked and all was good.

The Road

Unlike most of my road trip posts, this was not about the road. Most of our trips are determined by the road we want to drive and the places and destination get worked in. This time, the location of the rental car determined the road. We were in Tracy Ca. Not a lot of great roads here, but we would find a way.

Altamont Pass Road

After the parking lot we found a nice place to stop for lunch (more on that later). After lunch, we took off driving down what was called Grant Line Rd. As we were driving I saw a turn off to a road called Altamont Pass Rd. This turned out to be a perfect road for a new driver with a manual transmission car. It was a nice two lane road that ran about 7 miles and there was hardly any traffic …….. perfect. During the week this is a heavily traveled road as commuters heading to the San Francisco Bay area try to use this as an alternative to the major freeways…………. but today it was ours. It was a wide two lanes with mostly big sweeping turns and short straight aways. Eddie was able to enjoy some turns, with some down shifting and then up shifting and truly learning to enjoy the manual transmission. About half-way through he looked over at me and said “I understand why you wanted me to learn, you are much more engaged and focused with a manual and you can truly enjoy the drive and the road”………..he got it!!!

The Destination

Well, the destination this time was determined by where the car was………… in this case a little bedroom community called Mountain House Ca, which is about 5 miles West of Tracy Ca. This is truly a bedroom community as we did not see any stores or services. We had homes and the most beautiful Grammar School, Elementary School and High School I had ever seen………….that was it. This town was truly developed for people who work and commute to the Bay Area.

Squeeze Inn Tracy

We did find a nice place to eat in Tracy at the Squeeze Inn, Also known as the Squeeze Burger. They are famous for their “cheese skirt” on their Hamburgers. The original store is in Sacramento Ca where they only had 12 stools at the counter and you literally had to “squeeze in” to have a seat. They have expanded and now have other locations. Their expansion was fueled when they were featured on Diners, Drive In’s and Dives” You can see a video of the episode on their home page here.

They had a location here in Tracy were Eddie and I had ourselves some nice juicy burgers with a big cheesy skirt.

Conclusion

On the drive home on the I-5 freeway we saw something I could not believe. It was a Ferrari 250 GT0. The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most expensive cars in the world. They only made 36 of them between 1962 and 1964. One 250 GT0 that had a race history recently sold for $70,000,000. This could have been a replica, as those are out there……..but its impossible to say driving down the freeway. Either way, it was pretty cool to see!!

Ferrari 250 GTO

This was just an awesome day!! The whole process of renting from Turo was super easy and everything went smooth. The Mazda Miata was the perfect car to learn how to drive with a manual transmission!! The best part of all was a day spent with my son Eddie!! It is amazing how cars can bring us together and strengthen our bond!!

Please leave comments below.

Wes                                                                                                                                                                                                Exotic Cars and Road Trips                                                                                                                                                  Enjoy the Road